Rangers-Islanders in review (updated)



1) It really is remarkable how much more the Devils and Islanders have seemed to want the games against the Rangers than the Rangers have. Part of it is that the Rangers don’t treat them as top rivals anymore. They don’t. The Islanders certainly do. You can only imagine how pumped the Isles will be at Yankee Stadium.New York Islanders v New York Rangers Devils too.

2) That top line of the Islanders was on the Rangers like stink on a monkey, all night long. And the Rangers were as bad as they’ve been in a long time in their own end. Yes, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi included. Even up 2-0 and 3-1, they were being outplayed by a little at best, by a lot more often.

3) The Rangers also played for the first time in a long time, like a one-line team. Got virtually nothing from the second, third and fourth lines. Not sure what happened with Mats Zuccarello, but he missed some shifts in the second period. Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot weren’t very good throughout.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers4) Still, the Rangers could have won it until that mindless seven-skaters on the ice penalty on Kreider and Stepan. And since Alain Vigneault put the blame on the guys coming off the ice, I went back and took a couple more looks. The two guys who jumped on early were Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan, they were coming on for Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin. Ryan Callahan never got off, and Rick Nash never came on. So … since it was off an icing and 62-19-24 were stuck on the ice for a defensive-zone faceoff and should have immediately changed, going up ice and into the offensive zone instead of changing was mistake No. 1. Then, being out of gas and slow to the bench was mistake No. 2. That’s how I saw it.

5) Before I forget. The 2011-12 team comes right back from a game like this with a strong game. The 2013-14 team? We’ll see. They did in the Pittsburgh-Toronto back-to-backs. I don’t imagine St. Louis will just get out of the way as Toronto did, not after being smacked around in Newark.

6) The daily Nash-O-Meter. The needle broke off in the first period, coming off that performance two nights earlier. The guy is back and a monster now. Great defensive play by Stepan started the first scoring play. Then Kreider’s speed, strength and a very good pass to Nash. Stepan driving to the net also opened up the slot for Nash. Gotta say, lately, 20-21-61 is regaining the No. 1 PP spot. And not because the other three have been bad. Not at all. Nice problem to have.New York Islanders v New York Rangers

7) If AV is absolving Kreider and Stepan from blame on the fatal too-many-men penalty, then to me at least it appeared that it was a strong, strong game by both of them. Yet there’s this stat. Kreider had a goal and two assists, was minus-2 and in the box for the game-winning goal. Not sure how that adds up. Maybe that top line wasn’t good and I am completely wrong. Won’t be the first time, if so.

8) So Dan Girardi-Ryan McDonagh shut down Crosby, Ovechkin, St. Louis, Seguin, Zetterberg. But can’t stop Matt Freakin’ Martin. That was a soft play by Girardi on John Tavares, and a worse, softer play by Daniel Carcillo on Martin in front.  And that goal came right after an enormous save by Kevin Poulin on Kreider.

(UPDATE: Just watched the Martin goal again … Carcillo was late getting to him. Why? Because Nash, who tripped over Poulin, was late to change. And Kreider didn’t distinguish himself in front either. And, as I mentioned, Girardi made a really soft play on Tavares behind the net.)

9) I thought Nash and Girardi were both soft on the second Islanders goal, by Hickey, too.

New York Islanders v New York Rangers10) Poor Cam Talbot. He gets tossed in there because of Henrik Lundqvist’s flu, then has to try to pull off a miracle. He had no chance. Tested early and often, he was really good at points, but ultimately overwhelmed. Great stop up 2-0 on John Tavares after a McDonagh turnover late first. The reason Rangers got out of the first with a lead. Stopped on Tavares on wrap-around at 3-3 in the third. The Rangers had chances to win or tie this game, but it would have taken an absolute steal by Talbot.

11) I was a little surprised that AV didn’t use his fourth line a bit more for some zone time the way the Islanders were forcing the issue. Also, the thing the 2011-12 team had was a third line that could go out and give the opponent’s top line some tough shifts. This team, not so much. Maybe AV felt that, even though his team was being outplayed, it was certainly getting chances, and that the offensive guys would ultimately win it. Maybe he bet the over. (just kidding).

12) That penalty on Martin for challenging Brian Boyle? Pansification. But again, the officiating was embarrassing. Both ways.

13) 0-1 with David LeNeveu.

My Three Rangers Stars:New York Islanders v New York Rangers
1. Rick Nash.
2. Chris Kreider.
3. Derek Stepan.
Kenny Albert’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash.
2. Chris Kreider.
3. Dan Girardi.
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash.
2. David LeNeveu.
3. Chris Kreider.

Photos by Getty Images.

Twitter: @rangersreport.



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  1. Piss poor loss. When they could have had home ice in the playoffs, but lost out because of a few points, these are the losses that come to mind. Horrible.

    I think they game up a late goal in their last loss to the Isles too. Awful!

    1-2 against the Isles
    0-3 againt the Devils

    Makes me sick!

  2. Why can’t this team just save their stinkers for Western Conf teams? That way it doesn’t make it a 4-point game.
    If you think about these Isles games, we could have 4 points more and them 4 less – that’s an 8 point shift in the standings which could make a huge difference at the end of the season.

    They need to use this as motivation for the Stadium series, or trade for Mike Rupp.

  3. I’m still sick over this game.

    I don’t care what you guys say about the Flyers. Pens, Craps, and even Dervils, a loss to the Fishsticks sucks the most…

    Probably brings back memories of childhood growing up on Long Island in the 80’s and being a Rangers/Yankees fan. The islanders have been virtually harmless since 1993-94, but I still cannot stomach this loss.

  4. John Tavares: signed through 2018 with an average annuals salary of $5.5million..

    Kyle Okposo: 2.8million

    Brad Richards: 6.7million. Rick Nash: 7.8million. Lundqvist 6.875million…

    Who the hell was Tavares’ agent???

  5. Another point about the event leading up to the icing and eventusl icing….Richards gets the puck by the Isles blue line and throws a blind pass back between his legs…a move this moron has performed all season….not getting the puck deep and leading to a strong Islander rush and ensuing icing. Not dumping the puck and going for a change this deep in the game is just another moronic move putting himself out of position..as he pften does….and creating the opportunity for the penalty to happen. AV put the blame in the right place…and Richards plaus this way every game. He may be one of their leading point getters…but at -7…there is a story there, as well. I said it before..and I am saying it again…..sit him out now…until you ca buy him out….I will live with the consequences.

  6. I meant icing and eventual penalty…..still frustrated by this loss and lack of spellcheck on the Nook not helping in other places….proofreader available?

  7. 7) The dreaded +/-, worst stat in hockey. Anyone who’s coached can tell you how weird that stat can be over the course of a few games, when you know who’s winning and losing games for you out there, and then that stat comes in all over the place. Who gets minus-ones on empty-netters, for example? Presumably your best players. Special-team play is absolutely vital, for another example, and +/- has no comment.

    Anyway, the Islanders played a great game — credit to them that they knew they were winning even when behind.

  8. Doodie Machetto on

    How did Kenny think that Girardi deserved a star? He was awful, as were all of the defensemen. Really a poor performance all around.

    I had it Nash-Kreider-Talbot. I don’t care that Talbot gave up four. He was awesome, and mostly everyone else sucked.

  9. Doodie Machetto on

    Oh and in the second on the PP, but I’m not convinced that puck doesn’t end up in the net without him.

  10. When there is a too-many-men penalty, that is on the coaches EVERY TIME! It’s just about the most uncomplicated part of the game — you go on when he comes off, period, and if you haven’t yet convinced your players of that, start. If you want to complicate it — you go on when he or the other guy or someone else comes off or when you think they should come off — then live with the consequences. AV placing blame for that on other than himself, in public, is not good.

  11. +/- is a bad stat when you’re looking at it as absolute or ignoring matchups or comparing across teams and all that … but its really, really tough to be on ice for 4 goals against and still have a good game.

  12. I’ve had games where I’m on the ice for 3 PP goals and one even strength goal against, and am a -1. It is not a genuine reflection of a players impact on the score of the game.

  13. You’re right, nakedjoe, PK time can be wiped out. That wasn’t the case in the example I was giving.

  14. _Pro players should know when to change and when a shift is too long…thats not on the coach_

    “???????” – Alex K.

  15. Just poking my nose outside the snow cave this morning…I think I’ll stay in hibernation. Agree with all your criticism, Carp, but not so much defense as they did not have an answer for the higher energy, better skating Isles who were always first on the puck. Credit the Isles for carrying it to the Blueshirts….they skated circles around us the whole game. We almost never had sustained puck possession until the closing minutes of the game. This type of performance by the Rangers does not bode well for the playoffs. And some of their top players were playing well, at times.

  16. I agree 100% that the Isles seemed motivated, the Rangers not so much. Disappointing performance for Ranger fans.

  17. If pro players know what to do, why have coaches? These are kids out there, whatever they’re being paid. It can never be beneath a coach’s dignity to call out the one-for-ones ahead of time, especially when you want to double-shift a hot line or you’re coming out of a PP or PK with scrambly lines. Good bench coaches are embarrassed to draw too-manys, and they own them when they get them. It’s a part of the game that’s actually within their control.

  18. It is disgraceful that a “lame duck” franchise from Long Island, soon to become the Brooklyn Dukes, or whatever, displayed more desire and hunger for success on foreign ice than this Rangers team exhibited, last night. You collectively take a game off vs. your long-time natural and hated rival? Since when?

    What, Potvin doesn’t “suck,” any more? When did that happen? The rivalry vs. Brooklyn figures to be more intense, from the Rangers standpoint. Brooklyn, historically, has never taken a game off when in competition with teams from Manhattan or the Bronx. Rangers beware if you want to remain top-dog in the city.

  19. Good morning, Sally!

    Mister, by heavy lifting, I don’t necessarily mean setting up Nash. But Kreider’s game has to be somewhat dirty. That’s a huge weapon he has, that size and overpowering strength. He should be a prototypical but faster power forward, not just a speed/skill guy like Nash.

  20. Beating a dead horse, one of the things that caught my attention last season when Torts and his players began to, shall we say, separate, was that rash of too-manys early on. Was not a good sign, as it turned out.

  21. NAKEDJOE –

    The major flaw with plus – minus is that the NHL, incredibly, applies it to empty net goals, along with legitimate even-strength.

    You are on the ice with no goalie behind you, the other team scores = five players on that side get a plus, while you and your five teammates are hit with a minus. Talk about NUTS, that is crazy! Only the NHL could consider one team with a goalie in net, and the other team with no goalie in net an “even strength” situation.

  22. #1 Is SOOOO TRUE! I was saying that all game long. I was not a fan of Torts but we we seemed to be more pumped up for these games under him.

  23. This particular too-many was caused by two guys too gassed to get to the bench because after an icing they decided to go up ice instead of going to the bench … as they surely are coached to do. And should know to do.

    or maybe AV needs to use his timeout in that tied-game situation rather than save it for the last 30 seconds, down by 1.

  24. and to extrapolate, Richards — vet who should know better — fell in the offensive zone and lost the puck that started the nyi rush that forced 20 and 21 to jump on. He should have been on the bench, not in the O-zone.

  25. Robby: If you check extraskater.com, they do a more nuances goals on for, goals on against than just the simple +/-. I’m not trying to shred Kreider for it, but if we agree Talbot was hung out last night, and Kreider was on for 4 of 5 … Kreider was part of hanging out Talbot.

  26. (Also, I guess my bigger point is that the 3rd line did nothing, but it was an even nothing. The 1st line did a lot of scoring, but was also out for a ton of chances against.

  27. I wonder how much minus would change if the players on during last touch were assigned blame rather than whoever was eventually standing on the ice.

  28. Richards, as a vet, should indeed have been on the bench and not the o-zone. But he wasn’t. Again, it’s not complicated. You don’t go on until your guy comes off. Anyone who has worked the bench knows you don’t leave line changes to players’ whims — it’s the coach’s job, not the players’. If you leave it to the players, you get penalties. Players routinely go forward when they shouldn’t (because sometimes they score when they do) and that’s why you need discipline on the bench. If you want to gamble and send a sixth man out to backcheck, fine, but that should be the coach’s choice.

  29. Mister D, now thinks plus minus is a meaningful STAT. good stuff.
    Kreider was probably responsible for the Martin goal. he and McD were looking behind the net, and not paying attention to the front. Kreider was also on the ice for the Girardi brain fart on the Hickey goal. on the Macdonald goal, Kreider was coming from the bench on a line change. he never really had a chance to make a difference. and he was on the ice for the empty net goal.

  30. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Don’t ever try to tell me that Stralman was “good” last night. Dude spent more time on his knees than [enter explicit joke here]. I don’t care about how many “hits” someone is credited with. It’s usually an absurdly distributed stat.

  31. Bull Dog, I didn’t say that at all. But I’m also not pretending that being on ice for a goal against is always happenstance. Its a bad, overly dependent cumulative stat. The count inside a game can tell a story.

  32. Manny, you read me backwards. The Isles hit Stral 4 times. He hit 0 Isles.

    (Another stat you can’t take at literal face value but you can still get some knowledge from.)

  33. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Wow *Carp* I would like to nominate you for the *extra effort* award today.

  34. Game is too fast and shifts too frequent for coaches to call out one for one changes guys,..lines are called out and players should know who they are changing for

  35. Agree, Norm, but because of the ultra-slow change by 19 and 62, Islanders were on a 5-against-3 rush. I don’t blame the players for jumping on. It’s up to the guys coming off to bust it to the bench in that situation. If they do, the linesmen allow some latitude for the changing players coming on.

  36. Not blaming MDZ too much there, though, Bulldog, because he has to cover two guys. So he went for the block. Didn’t get it.

  37. Doodie Machetto on

    What makes this loss so much worse is that they coughed it up after leading by two, twice. If 11-12 was leading by two, you could’ve turned off the TV because that game was in the bag.

  38. Again, I’m breaking this all down because AV brought it up in the post-game. The changes — he was right — were awful all game. And a lot of guys got stuck with minuses they didn’t deserve. Some got away from minuses they did deserve. And some deserved their minuses.

  39. does plus minus tell a story when for an entire season,when only 2 players that played on the team all season are minus for the season? one of them was a minus 1. the other one minus 13. does that STAT tell a story about the how the minus 13 player played?

  40. Given that I said “Its a bad, overly dependent cumulative stat”, I think you know where I stand on what it means over the course of a season.

  41. Good morning, boneheads!

    That TMM penalty (and subsequent GWG) was just a logical end to this game. They didn’t deserve to win, or even get a point. Everyone, except Talbot, played a subpar game. Some worse than others. It almost felt like after Nash scored his first goal they went on cruise control mode. The only reason they were 2 goals up twice is because the Islanders stink in their own end. You just need to keep them in their end, as opposed to sit in yours. And they play hard, give them a credit. Mind-boggling how they almost never able to be mentally ready to play against the Islanders. It’s been years.

  42. I agree that there are times the player that gets a plus or minus may not have had any thing to do with the play other than being on the ice when a goal was scored. but if 1 player is a big plus compared to others, it is meaningful. same as with 1 player being a bigger minus than everyone else. on bad teams, everybody is minus, and the best player on the team tends to be the biggest minus because he plays the most. but if the team is good, and you are the only bad minus, it speaks of that player.

  43. Right. Also, depends what kind of opposition you’re facing on a nightly basis. … for example, a checking line might get more minuses because it’s going against the Crosbys and Tavareses every night. … Also, Rangers have given up four ENGs, for example. I’d bet that the usual offensive suspects were on for all of them.

  44. but if you’re going back to Kreider having a better plus/minus than his teammates, I still say it’s largely because he wasn’t on that season-opening trip when everybody piled up the minuses … and while the kid is surely a very good and very important and much improved player for this team, it’s a huge stretch to say he’s good in the d-zone, IMO.

  45. Right. I don’t think Byfuglien is much of a defensive defenseman, but I also don’t think he’s twice as bad as their second worst (he’s -16, Enstrom second lowest D at -7). Matchups and usage mean a ton.

  46. THE is not yet good in his own zone. he tries real hard, and I think he will eventually be OK at it. that said his a good plus because of his play in the O zone. if your line always has the puck, you do not have to be that good in your own zone.

  47. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Didn’t we have the same issue last season when the team was constantly taking “Too Many Men” penalties? Didn’t Torts say it was up to the players on the bench to *wait* until the guys were off to get on the ice? Maybe Tort also said it was the responsibility of the guys to get off.

    I just don’t see how we can blame the guys for not getting off while noting that Nash remained *on the bench* during the whole debacle.

  48. The draggin’ arse to the bench, especially from the o-zone, makes me crazy — Nash and Richards do it all the time. And so does the rest of the league — 82 games I guess is a consideration, but vets coasting to the bench has become the norm, almost a statement that they’ve “made it” and will reserve their hustle for other, more important times.

  49. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    The Yankess just spent *$155M* to sign an untested Pitcher who plays in a league that *uses a differently sized baseball* that is smaller than the one used in *Major League Baseball*.

    Baseball is *insane*

  50. That all said, McDonagh and Girardi both being plus considering they played that whole trip, and the kind of opposition they face, on a team not very good 5-on-5 most of the season, is rather remarkable.

  51. I’m still always surprised when I see professionals make the same brain dead plays you see in my adult league games. Instead of changing, a tired player joins the offensive rush – a classic beer league move that leads to tons of goals against when the play comes back the other way.

  52. Does anybody have a replay or still image of the too many men penalty? Saw it happening at the game, but they didn’t show a replay there or on Rangers in 60, stunningly.

  53. Playoff teams will have a positive goal differential.

    Non-playoff teams will have a negative goal differential.

    ( Maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, but not likely)

    Cup favorites will have significantly better goal differentials than non-cup favorites.

    Take it to the bank and

    Book It.

  54. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That’s *awesome* Rob. You get *Credit* for being in the *office* but have no *actual* responsibility. I call that a *classic Manny*

  55. I’m gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don’t, send it right back. THE Kreider.

  56. ” it’s a huge stretch to say he’s good in the d-zone, IMO.” (CARP)

    Unbelievable lack of respect for THE Kreider, who is likely the Selke Trophy winner this season.

  57. The Kreider is better in the D Zone than Nash, Richards, Zuccarello, Poilett, Brassard and Stepan.

    He hustles more on the back check than any forward on the team except maybe Hagelin.

  58. Papa,
    I agree with all of those names except Stepan. Stepan is a very good defensive center.

  59. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Agreed, Bull Dog. Stepan is the best defensive Center we have and he’s a pretty darn good one.

  60. Up by two Twice in this game, and they get out worked by the Fishsticks.

    Unacceptable! On so many levels.

    Sure wish we had a little “fire” on bench, to stop the bleeding, buck up and lock the door on the lead.

    Not even a timeout, when it was tied, players were gassed.

    I’ll take Torts for 200 Carp!!!

  61. Manny, I’d argue that Moore or Boyle are the *best* defensive centers we have (depending on *which* is playing C).

  62. Stranger Nation on

    _Pro players should know when to change and when a shift is too long…thats not on the coach_
    _If pro players know what to do, why have coaches? These are *kids* out there, whatever they’re being paid_

    Hmmm – which is it?
    I want to be a 33 yr old *kid* making $9MM this season

  63. Manny, they are both in the *Milky Way* galaxy. In fact, *you* and *I* are in the same galaxy as *Crosby*.

  64. Stranger Nation on

    1st goal – Step gets beat on 50/50 board battle by Okposo who tips puck to Taveres who undresses Girardi and finds Martin skating to net
    2nd goal – Girardi puck watching as Hickey skates in front for redirect
    3rd goal – Richards slow getting back creates 3on2 – El Zotto snow angel/face plant in front of net as rebound wristed in from 10 ft dead center

    girardi looked old all night. McD played just OK. MEZ regressed – looked tentative like he does when he likely to be hit. Thought D Moore was off, particularly on PK where he was slow to the puck

  65. Rumor has it Ryan Smyth is “out there,” on the block. Look for “The Stoogie” to grab him, as the Rangers take out insurance on their inside track to sipping 2014 Stanley Cup champagne.

  66. Rob in Beantown on

    Andrew Gross @AGrossRecord
    Lundqvist, who did not dress last night due to illness, on ice for Rangers’ noon practice, wearing his pinstriped pads.

  67. I think Stepan is the best defensive center … if you put him in a checking-line type of role that Moore plays, he’d be better than Moore. But that would be a waste of his offensive skills. And other than foot speed, he might be a better PK than Moore.

  68. Got bored with maintaining a vigil as to when Ovie would notch even-strength primary assist #1 on the season. All I know is that he went the first THREE MONTHS of the season, without one. So that his -16 plus/minus I read about here, truly resonates as reflective of his team-last selfishness.

    You score 35 goals by late January and you are -16 ??? Says it all, it does. His linemates should go on strike, or – stop setting him up for a couple weeks so that he can get the message that it’s a team game, not a command solo performance.

    Now tell me what a wonderful player he is, somebody. (Meanwhile I wouldn’t trade Pouliot for him.) lol.

  69. THE still often (but less and less) seems a bit lost in the D zone, but not from contact allergy or lack of effort, rather inexperience.

  70. Re Yanquis blockbuster signing – I feel compelled to revise my estimate of Yanquis prospects for this coming season upward from sixth to a fifth place finish in their division.

    Way to go Cashman! Not because this pitcher is any good, but because he is under 37!!!!!!

  71. Even as a life-long Ranger fan, if I played for the Isles or Debs, I’d take particular delight in beating the MSG boys. That we never seem to take note of that fact and step it up is a bit of a mindbender.

  72. Rob in Beantown on

    Pimp, did you hear that Pouliot was named to the McDonaldland Olympic hockey team? Rumor is he is going to play on a line with Grimace and the Hamburgler

  73. Norm –

    You are right on the money with your +/- take. If it were up to me, I would award a goal but no plus to the goal scorer; an assist but no plus to the primary assist man; and a plus to the other three players on the ice.

    (But it is not up to me, it is up to “my hero,” Gary “The Weasel” Bettman.)

  74. Forgive me, but when it comes to Bettman and Sather, I am down to “The Weasel,” and “The Stoogie.” ( Just for a little comic relief.) (“THE BETTMAN” is on hold for now.)

  75. Stepan no doubt knows the defensive side of the puck. Though sometimes his laziness and /or lack of foot speed /quickness hurts in the D zone when in pursuit of the puck / puck carrier.

  76. Buttman spotted last night at Sushi Bar. He hasn’t had a blood-dripping roast beef sandwich his whole life and never will. He wants to live forever. This is not hockey.

  77. Last night’s game was an example of why they absolutely no hesitation have to buy out Richards.

    He looked especially old and tired last night.

    He was out a few shifts against Tavares it was scary.

  78. Come to think of it, he is built like a shapely little Geisha Girl. But I doubt, somehow, they are on his menu.

    Imagine going out on the town with “The Bettman” as your social escort? What a fun and intellectually stimulating evening that would be. “Toshida Fumida, come and get the Sushi Cup.”

  79. Richie sets a bad example for the kids. In return for his 20 goals and refusal to backcheck or play any D whatsoever, he receives nothing but accolades from the Coach and Organization. Despite #19’s slick offensive stick, and in the absence of a viable veteran center, I’d rather live with Miller’s mistakes during his maturation.

  80. Still can’t fathom how many d zone breakdowns occurred last night. Holes galore. Better fix it quick with pissed off blues coming in.

    Let’s keep in mind rangers have played most games in conf. Caps canes jackets all will make up 2-3 games prior to Olympic break. Better picture then of where this up and down season goes.

  81. Happy to say that had I been a professional hockey player, I never would have donned the uniform of any rival organization of the Rangers. I was deeply moved by Jean Ratelle waiting a week before reporting to Boston, following the trade, while seriously contemplating retirement. He really bled Ranger blue, etc.

    What loyalty players felt to their original organization, in those days, although I do think Ratty was special in that and in many other ways.

  82. Living in NJ, I’ve come to learn that part of the necessary sustenance for NJD and their fans, at least, is being as much, if not more, anti-NYR as they are pro-NJD. Secaucus Junction was full of Devils “fans” who took great joy in casting aspersions upon NYR and celebrating their loss rather than talking about the Devils scoring seven goals against a good Blues team. On nights when both NYR and NJD win, and I’m returning home from MSG via Secaucus, these Devils “fans” have little to say. If both teams lose, they chant “Rangers suck!” just as much as when NJD win and NYR lose. Some were even attacking Lundqvist last night; he didn’t even play. I met a combined group of NJD-NYR supporters in the train station parking lot who had been to Newark, and the NJD fans talked very little about their loss and rather were more interested in hearing about NYR’s “collapse at the Garden,” as one Devils “fan” put it. Another one went on to laugh at how BOS had manhandled us in the playoffs last season when NJD didn’t even make the playoffs! I dunno if the inferiority complex began in the locker room and spread to the fans or vice versa, but that definitely seems to be the case with the Devils organization and their “supporters”, who are in truth NYR-haters.

  83. Rob in Beantown on

    *Don’t mess with the Devils, buddy. We’re number one, we beat anybody! We’re the Devils! The Devils!! AHHHH*

    It’s been that way as long as I can remember too, which is ironic because the Devils have, by any measure, more success than the Rangers over the last two decades.

  84. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That’s the part that gets me. The *Devils* have Brodeur and all these *Cups* and all that. When the Rangers have no dynasty. Ever. So why the inferiority garbage?

  85. Stranger Nation on

    it really is remarkable that a team would choose the ‘Devils’ as their nickname. Were the sadists and cannibals considered too much?
    Must have been an interesting branding session.

  86. Regarding Stepan, I agree that he is a very good defensive player. However, he stinks on faceoffs (relatively speaking), which is a significant downgrade in my opinion.

  87. The resentment for NY is there in Philly too.

    There is an old saying if NY didn’t exist people would have to invent it. Need the envy somewhere.

  88. Stranger Nation on

    Step is a decent defensive center. He is too soft and slow to be a great checking center IMHO
    Like his positioning, attitude and stick handling but we will hopefully go through another second season and there he will need to play better.
    Dont believe Step and Richards centering top two lines will not get us far.

  89. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Stepan is overrated quite a bit (a habit that many fans have with “homegrown” players) IMO. I understand that he is one of the two best centres we have right now, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be moved for other players.

  90. He has gotten *better* each year, though only 0.1% better *this* year (46%) compared to last. His first year, he was *38.5%*.

  91. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    If we move Stepan we then have no two-way center to play on the top line. So we would have to get one back. They are *not* cheap. I just don’t see it as being worth it.

  92. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Plus, *Stepan*, although having *arbitration* rights, will end this contract after next season still a *RFA*

  93. Stepan is a *very good* two-way center, he is not *overrated*. He is very comparable to Patrice *Bergeron* in all categories, except faceoffs.

  94. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That is a *compliment* of the highest regard. Although, I think he has less *hair* than Mr. Bergeron.

  95. From 2010-2014,

    Stepan: 264 games, 65 goals, 107 assists, +48, 297 *hits*, 49 PP points, 1 SHG, 14 GWG

    Bergeron: 252 games, 66 goals, 119 assists, +101, 180 hits, 32 PP points, 5 SHG, 12 GWG

  96. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    That’s pretty remarkable. I had no idea he was even that close to him. *Wow*

  97. Rob in Beantown on

    How does one improve at faceoffs? 44% is very *low*. Is it just a matter of taking lots of faceoffs at practice? Watching lots of tape? There has to be some *way* to improve Step-On’s Face-Off skill, right?

  98. Fire Chief says that the trailer was “under the ‘guise’ of the Fire Marshal’s office.” ‘Guise’ definition: concealing the true nature of something. What a horrible story.

  99. For the doctors that might frequent this site: How do you get over the “flu” in one day?

    Not that I doubt he was sick, but if it’s really the flu, then he’d be knocked on his butt for at least a week.

  100. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    I would like to go on record as saying that Del Zotto being traded *cannot* be a good move. It just can’t. Young kid with a high ceiling. And for this?

  101. You only trade DZ if you are not going to sign him to his *NEXT* contract.

    Sather may think he can get the same output out of Allen?


  102. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    This is horrible, Guys. Klein is signed FOREVER at nearly $3M. That isn’t a “Connor Allen can come fill in” type trade.

  103. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Everyone is *SO* happy to get rid of Del Zotto but at least the kid has potential! If this was the return they should have just *waived* him

  104. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    @Forechecker Sending Klein out of town (for another D?) is a stunning development. He’s a capable stay-at-home type who soaks up PK time.

  105. This trade flat out sucks. We receive the lesser player with no upside left and worse contract. Even for Sather, this makes no sense.

  106. Let’s not make del zaster out to be great here.

    Do we want this contract for 4 more years. That’s what we need to be arguing over.

    Cap is going way up. Insurance in case Girardi bolts. Still almost 3 mil is a lot.

  107. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    He’s a stay at home type guy, Carp. I don’t think anyone will be lauding his “skating” ability or anything like that. He’s like McLlrath but smaller and more established and older.

  108. I don’t so much acquiring a guy like Klein (contract aside), I just hate that this wasn’t a “my enigma for your enigma” deal.

  109. Klein is their version of Girardi.

    This might make Girardi available, or insurance if he doesn’t sign.

    Mostly an insurance pick for a Right handed defensemen.

    Allen takes DZ’s spot on the left.

    Sather wasn’t going to pay DZ $4M for the next 4 years. So he picked up Klein for 2.9.

  110. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Actually I take that back. McLlrath isn’t a stay at home guy yet. He’s more of a big hitter in open ice without the ability to get back to collapse but with the ability to make up for lack of speed with physicality.

  111. Klein is insurance if Girardi is gone and is signed for less money than Girardi would get. Similar player not nearly as good but that’s what this is.

  112. Aside from him being RH. The contract isn’t that big of an issue. It’s an average cap hit.

  113. Nashville wins in this deal! Yes?

    What else is up Sather’s sleave?????

    There has to be more than this, right?


    “the Canucks have major interest in Rangers D-man Michael Del Zotto and could be willing to part with a major offensive player to make it happen.”

    “Hearing talks with Edmonton, Ottawa, and St. Louis. Although, one source tells me that Detroit, who may have already turned down one offer to get Del Zotto, could in the end get “Very much back into this.”

    “I am hearing that Michael Del Zotto to the Flames or Oilers is looking possible. Vancouver and Detroit kicked tires but turned down the offered deals and stepped out of the mix.”

    “Oilers interested in Del Zotto (e4)”

    The names I am hearing are Del Zotto going to Montreal with Diaz and a prospect (e3) returning to NY. The Avalanche also have plenty of interest in Del Z.”

  115. This is the day that Del Zotto become Bobby Orr or the “one that got away” for Ranger fans…

  116. Manny – I’m sorry bud but McIlrath isn’t going to be much of an NHL player, every year there is going to be someone that jumps over him.

  117. How come POULET wasn’t tossed into this deal? What was Cigarman thinking? An opportunity wasted.

  118. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Hopefully he can replace *Stralman* on the PK since Stralman is *God Awful*

    Especially if we are going to play that absurd Diamond PK (when Nash isn’t on the ice).

  119. I’d rather take my chances with a 23 year old Del Z for the next four years than for a 30 year old Klein for the next four.

    Bad asset management is right.

    AV wouldn’t keep the kid in the lineup, that didn’t help at all.

    And yet another fail for Gordie Clark. Could have had Eberle. Another star player passed on.

  120. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    Seems to me the organization got tired of MDZ’s lapses on D. With the offense doing well (and frankly MDZ’s output down), I think it was more important to slot in a better defensive defenseman. I will reserve judgment on this one for the time being… although Sather’s record on acquiring defensemen and having them turn out is not bad (McDonagh, Moore, and you can even throw in Stralman too…)

  121. Klein also showed some nice *strength* in tossing Boyle (I know) to the ice pretty *easily* prior to the *scrap* with Dorsett.

  122. Slats not looking for a four year upside plan with MDZ. He want to win NOW, not watching on TV in the nursing home. Klein appears more reliable and experienced.

  123. going to wait till I see Klein before I give an opinion. on the surface it is a now trade. the Rangers badly needed a right side stay at home Dman. as others have said, it could also be insurance if Girardi leaves. for MDZ, he needed to leave. AV did not believe in him, and he is not mentally tough enough to fight his way out of the doghouse.

  124. Could this help John Moore?

    He would have a reliable, veteran, defensive-minded pairing partner?

    If this brings out the offense and J Moore. I will like it a lot!!!

    Sucks for me, I bought a DZ Jersey when they were half off at the MSG. Rats!

  125. Averages 2+ mins on PK per game. NHL.com says top 30 in league in blocked shots last 3 seasons, top 20 this year.

  126. Del zaster wasn’t cracking top 4 on left side with staal and Mac. Paying him with arb rights over 3 mil is a mistake.

    I’m only torn on the contract. U guys know since I invented name del zaster how I feel about him.

  127. Send pullout to the Preds for…… Cullen??? Would have been nice to see him back in a blueshirt!!!!

  128. To me, this says they will re-sign Girardi … if RH d is so important, and since Del Zotto would have made more $$ than Klein next year probably.

  129. Doodie Machetto on

    Del Zotto is officially a wasted first round pick. From the day he was drafted I was saying that the Rangers, if intent on drafting a defenseman, had taken the wrong guy and that it should have been Carlson instead. But boy did they miss on Eberle.

    That now lowers the number of players drafted by the Rangers in the first round actually playing with the Rangers to two (Staal and THE).

  130. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    @Real_ESPNLeBrun With the move, this also allows John Moore to go back to his natural left side. Just a better fit with Klein now there on the right

  131. Wasn’t everyone clamoring for a stay-at-home defenseman (Methot, etc.) for MotZ for the last month? And some even suggested adding Miller or Hagelin.

  132. Sather Must Go! on

    Sorry manny, didnt see ur prior post re:fight card..

    I dont think the rangers were getting any decent draft pick draft pick for mdz

  133. MotZ was on the WBM to long. His days were numbered.

    It is what it is……

    Nashville is A LOT of fun to visit. Great town if you’re a little bit Country!!!

  134. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Unless we want to be like the *Crapitals* ORR. They have *two* fourth lines. Who needs a Third line!?” they say.

  135. Orr we got a 6th rounder in the Gaborik trade. Not to mention John Moore being a recent first-rounder

  136. Doodie Machetto on

    Let’s assume we buy out Richards in the offseason (and this is not a safe assumption because Sather is dumb). Who are our PP point men next year? McD gets one spot. I still held out hope for Del Z.

  137. Stranger Nation on

    We need a crease clearing righty Dman, stay at home type who can throw if need be.
    El Zotto is a slow footed lame brain who has questionable work ethic and will never be the offensive D you think he might here. He would be earning $3MM+ over the next 4 seasons.
    J moore moves back to Left with either Norris or Klein on his right.
    Don’t know Klein, but Del Zaster was done here – can’t play speed game.
    We will always have the between the legs drop pass last night leading to odd man break to remember him by…

  138. Cullen would be an upgrade over Pouliot is all I’m saying.

    But that line has been hot lately so AV can’t touch it.

  139. Doodie: I worry if this was just the safest / best fit return for MDZ rather than the best talent.

    Also, Klein has to be 2RD within a week or two, right?

  140. Methinks that playing Richie this year in the face of future CAP disaster told us long ago everything we need to know about Slats wanting to win now and let the next guy worry about the future.

  141. you really still had hope for MDZ, Doodie? this is his 5th year, and it is his 3rd poor one.

  142. “Why do you keep calling me Calvin?”

    “That’s your name isn’t it, Calvin Klein? It’s written all over your underwear.”

  143. Doodie Machetto on

    Saying that he probably will beat out Stralman is damning him with faint praise, but I agree with you that this was a safe fit return as opposed to a “this could really improve our team in the long-run” return

  144. J Moore can play both sides. DZ cant.

    J Moore > DZ

    I’m thinking Moore offense will open up more on the left, and he will take another step.

    I’ll hold off judging this trade until I see him play 10 games.

  145. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    You would think Klein could slot on the 2nd Pair with Staal, replacing Stralman, and Stralman can slide down to 3rd pair allowing John Moore to move back to his natural side.

  146. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    I don’t mind this:

    McDonagh – Girardi
    Staal – Klein
    J. Moore – Stralman

  147. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, this is John Moore’s third year and I have yet to see anything out of him that resembled MDZ’s first season when he had swagger and good instincts but was prone to mistakes, or his third season where just all around he was really good.

    That third season gave me such high hopes for him. It’s basically only been one season’s worth of regular season games since then (88). I just think the kid still has a lot of upside.

  148. For some reason I started whistling the Kleinsleep jingle when I read about the trade. But if Klein can treat most players in front of the net like he treated Boyle??? It will be nice having a crease clearing D-man on our team signed up for the next few years.

  149. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    blah blah blah potential coulda shoulda woulda…Good damn trade!

  150. ThisYearsModel on

    Shockingly poor value for a 23 YO former first round pick. Make sure to bench the guy and trash him to the press so that his value hits rock bottom before trading him. Glen Sather…….in over his head for 13 years and counting.

  151. On the surface this doesn’t look awful. Not great either. Let it play out. If stralman or Girardi leave its insurance.

  152. Doodie Machetto on

    “J Moore can play both sides. DZ cant.”

    I disagree. I don’t think either guy is particularly good at playing the right side, and if anything, I think MDZ was probably better at it, although again, not good.

  153. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    @Realkevinklein8 Thanks everyone! Going to miss the friends I have made in Nashville. But a new chapter in New York.

  154. Doodie,
    you may be right. I just think MDZ is mentally soft, and average skater. his instincts are eh. his poise is eh.

  155. Sather Must Go! on

    Cccp, love the call at the end “feeding each other the meat candy”…that Was a good scrap…

    at least slats recognized the need to for some toughness… No one was going to say anything to mattmartin last nite..

    How des the org have no depth anywhere? Scoring, toughness, offensive dmen, playmakers.. Just a bunchof smaller 3-4th line types in the “A”

  156. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, if you were asking me to rate MDZ’s play, I wouldn’t do it highly. But I look at the 160 or so games I saw him as a rookie and as a third year player, and I compare those to the 130 or so outside of those, and I’m not sure which player is the real MDZ. If its the one from the 160, then this trade is a disaster. I was willing to give him a little bit longer to figure it out.

    Honestly, his value is pretty damn low right now, so would it really have made that much of a difference to get another season out of him to be sure?

  157. DZ will love all the blondes in Nashville.

    He will meet a nice Carrie Underwood look alike and settle down.

    He will credit that stability for his improved play.

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